The day after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968, Ben Carson’s black classmates unleashed their anger and grief on white students who were a minority at Detroit’s Southwestern High.There's more. Epstein examines an anecdote in Carson's memoir about a moment of stick-to-it-iveness on Carson's part: A Yale professor claimed all the exam papers in a class called Perceptions 101 had been burned, then compelled the students to endure a much harder test. All but Carson walked out, in his telling. A photographer from the Yale Daily News recorded Carson's persistence, which was also rewarded with a cash gift. (No such story ever appeared in the News, and no such class existed at Yale at the time.) (BUT SEE 2ND UPDATE BELOW.)
Mr. Carson, then a junior with a key to a biology lab where he worked part time, told The Wall Street Journal last month that he protected a few white students from the attacks by hiding them there.
It is a dramatic account of courage and kindness, and it couldn’t be confirmed in interviews with a half-dozen of Mr. Carson’s classmates and his high school physics teacher. The students all remembered the riot. None recalled hearing about white students hiding in the biology lab, and Mr. Carson couldn’t remember any names of those he sheltered.
“It may have happened, but I didn’t see it myself or hear about it,” said Gregory Vartanian, a white classmate of Mr. Carson’s who served in the ROTC with Mr. Carson and is now a retired U.S. Marshal.
So is it all over for Carson now that so many of the tales he's told about himself seem to full of holes? To the contrary -- being the victim of hate-filled media liberals (even, presumably, those from The Wall Street Journal) makes Carson more popular on the right, as we learn from National Review's David French:
Let’s begin with two propositions: There is a difference between an admirable man and a perfect man, and there is a difference between “vetting” and viciousness. The collective goal of the liberal media is now clear -- to take one of America’s most admired and brilliant men and somehow transform him into a dishonest, stupid extremist....Carson is just going to rise in the polls for as long as this vetting takes place. He's getting all the media attention, the way Donald Trump did a couple of months ago. Trump thought he'd win the weekend by hosting Saturday Night Live (and by being the object of anti-racists' wrath for getting that gig). Chris Christie hoped his viral pro-drug-treatment video would get him back into the race. Jeb thought he'd get praise for his campaign reboot. Marco Rubio thought he'd be the big liberal-media victim of the week, because the press is still scrutinizing his financials. But Carson is out-martyring Rubio and Trump by a wide margin. And Bush and Christie can't compete with a "high-tech lynching."
Hovering over the feeding frenzy is the absurd media spectacle of mainstream reporters claiming they’re merely “doing their job” by diving into 50-year-old details of Ben Carson’s childhood. The same reporters who were not just incurious about the details of Barack Obama’s background in 2008 but actively hostile to those who asked reasonable questions about his relationship with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and his years of religious instruction from Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.
... he’s a direct threat not just to leftist narratives regarding race and class but also to the leftist stranglehold on the black vote. And for that reason alone he must be destroyed.
A “high-tech lynching” is again underway, but if recent history is any guide, the Left’s attempt to strike down Carson will only make him stronger. The media can launch its attacks, but it cannot change the fundamental facts: Ben Carson is a good and decent man, an American hero.
This comes at a terrible time for the candidates trailing Carson and Trump, because there's no obvious opportunity for any of them to claim victimization until the December 15 CNN debate, when they can whine about the questioners' liberal media bias, and may the best whiner win.
But wait -- isn't there a Republican debate next week? Well, yes -- but it's on Fox Business, and, as we learned when the candidates were circulating ideas for remaking the debates, no one wanted to rewrite the rules for this debate because it's on Fox:
Any changes would be applied to debates after next week’s Fox Business Network debate. Among the reasons, according to one operative in the room, was that "people are afraid to make Roger [Ailes] mad," a reference to the network’s chief.Trump, of course, is an exception to that rule -- he's happy to complain about any media outlet, including Fox. So this debate could be good for him. But Carson goes into the debate with so many martyrdom points that he could easily remain in the lead even after a mediocre debate. (Mediocre debates never seem to hurt him in any case.)
Because the other candidates won't dare to complain about the bias of the Fox moderators, and because GOP voters' sole criterion for a presidential candidate this year seems to be how angry the candidate is at "political correctness" and liberals (and at the GOP Establishment, which is presumed to be full of quisling enablers of liberal PC), the Fox moderators probably should try to help the non-front-running candidates by just asking question after question about the persecution of right-wingers: Senator Cruz, do you believe most members of the secular-progressive media receive money directly from Hamas and the Communist International, or do you think they simply have a personal vendetta against conservatism? Really -- all the questions should be like this. That's what would give most of the candidates their best opportunity to break from the pack.
I'm joking about that question, but I think there really could be a question along those lines in the debate: During the past week, Senator Rubio's financial history has been subjected to intense scrutiny from the media, as has Dr. Carson's biography. What limits, if any, should there be on candidate vetting by the media, and do you think there's a double standard on vetting, with liberal Democrats receiving more favorable treatment? That question, if it's asked, will lead to the highest level of candidate engagement in the entire debate. The answers will be all anyone will talk about the next day. Because these days, Republicans hardly care about anything else.
UPDATE: Yup, Carson's the king of the hill.
Real example of "white privilege": The way pampered media types discuss with condescension the teenage years of Ben Carson.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 7, 2015
Seems Ben Carson test story did happen, contrary WSJ report. But it was a hoax he fell for? pic.twitter.com/Xxw7n2kdHB— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) November 8, 2015